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Predictability is the degree to which a correct "prediction or "forecast of a "system's "state can be made either qualitatively or quantitatively.


Predictability and Causality[edit]

"Causal determinism has a strong relationship with predictability. Perfect predictability implies strict determinism, but lack of predictability does not necessarily imply lack of determinism. Limitations on predictability could be caused by factors such as a lack of information or excessive complexity.

"Laplace's Demon is a supreme intelligence who could completely predict the one possible future given the Newtonian dynamical laws of classical physics and perfect knowledge of the positions and velocities of all the particles in the world.

In experimental physics, there are always observational errors determining variables such as positions and velocities. So perfect prediction is practically impossible. Moreover, in modern "quantum mechanics, "Werner Heisenberg's "indeterminacy principle puts limits on the accuracy with which such quantities can be known. So such perfect predictability is also theoretically impossible.

In statistical physics[edit]

Although the "second law of thermodynamics can determine the "equilibrium state that a system will evolve to, and "steady states in "dissipative systems can sometimes be predicted, there exists no general rule to predict the "time evolution of systems distanced from equilibrium, e.g. "chaotic systems, if they do not approach an equilibrium state. Their predictability usually deteriorates with time and to quantify predictability, the rate of divergence of system "trajectories in "phase space can be measured ("Kolmogorov–Sinai entropy, "Lyapunov exponents).[1]

In mathematics[edit]

In "stochastic analysis a "random process is a "predictable process if it is possible to know the next state from the present time.

In human–computer interaction[edit]

In the study of "human–computer interaction, predictability is the property to forecast the consequences of a user action given the current state of the system.

In human sentence processing[edit]

Linguistic prediction is a phenomenon in "psycholinguistics occurring whenever information about a word or other linguistic unit is activated before that unit is actually encountered. Evidence from "eyetracking, "event-related potentials, and other experimental methods indicates that in addition to integrating each subsequent word into the context formed by previously encountered words, language users may, under certain conditions, try to predict upcoming words. Predictability has been shown to affect both text and speech processing, as well as speech production. Further, predictability has been shown to have an effect on syntactic, semantic and pragmatic comprehension.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boeing, G. (2016). "Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction". Systems. 4 (4): 37. "doi:10.3390/systems4040037. 

External links[edit]

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